Editor’s Note: Brad Davis from Houston, Texas, one of the newest Mossy Oak pros, is living the dream of every youngster who plays soccer, and every soccer parent who takes sons or daughters to soccer practice every day and games on Saturday. Davis plays for the Houston Dynamo (www.houstondynamo.com) a major league soccer team, and is a member of the United States Men’s National Team. Davis, who played in the World Cup representing the United States this year, is an avid bowhunter and a gun hunter.
Soccer is a full-time, year-round job that I love. It’s a very mental game. A player has to be prepared to make decisions quickly and perform at a high level of proficiency - often in less than a heartbeat. Each player on the team isn’t just kicking a ball around hoping to score a goal. We have well-defined plays and strategies for each game. But when the other team gets the ball, or when our team gets the ball, each tactic changes. We need to anticipate where we should be on the field when the ball changes. As a spectator, you can’t see all the mental decisions a soccer player has to make in an instant and pray he’s right.
My wife is Heather, and we have two children, my son, Kaden, who is 5-years old, and my daughter, Taylor, who is 3. I love them very much, and they love me. They understand that sometimes I need to be alone in the woods out from under the pressure of playing just to depressurize my life. Being out hunting is a stress reliever, helps me get balance in my life and makes me be more prepared to play or practice the next day. Because my home is only 45-minutes from my lease, if I'm having a tough day or feeling a lot of pressure, I can go to the woods, sit in a stand and have the pressure go away. I really believe that having the stress relief that hunting provides helps me be a better soccer player, husband and dad. Heather is really great about letting me go sit in the woods when I need to do that.
Two questions I'm always asked and that people seem interested in are: “How old are you?” I was 33 as of November 8, 2014, during the peak of the rut here in Texas. They also ask, “How long do you think you can play at this highest level of soccer?” My answer is that, “I’d like to play until I’m at least 35 or 36.” I really believe this is a doable goal. I absolutely love the game of soccer, and I want to play it as long as I can contribute to my team. I feel so blessed that I can earn a living for my family playing a sport that I truly love.
Like any professional athlete, soccer players get injured – often a variety of different injuries than football players experience. Often our injuries aren’t as visible as football injuries are on TV. For instance, when you have a 6-feet, 5-inch, 250-pound linebacker that’s built like Superman and has the speed of a greyhound sighted in on a wide receiver streaking across the middle of the field and going up for a pass, when that linebacker hits the wide receiver, that collision is one that makes anybody cringe. But on the soccer field, our injures often occur from muscle strains when we have to shift from jogging to running as hard as we can run, or when we have to shift gears from running to stop and make a cut. We have the same type doctors and rehabilitation specialists that the professional football players have, and we have to work as hard to come back from injuries as they do.
I realize I can’t play soccer forever. I have a lot of items on my bucket list. After my soccer career is over, I plan to do a lot of hunting. I want to go on an elk hunt. I think being able to go into the mountains, hike the High Country and take an elk with my bow will be an awesome experience. I also want to take a bear with my bow. I want to enjoy the little things that I've missed out on like birthdays. I'm really looking forward to being more of a dad, watching my kids play sports and participating in their school activities.
I’d like to also get in the real-estate business - both residential and commercial properties. To be totally honest, I’d like to work in some way in the outdoor industry. I'm interested in taking some time away from the game of soccer, because I've been playing it since I was 5-years old. I want to see if my love for the game will pull me back into it in some way.